Feeds

GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Programmer Julie Horvath quits as unnamed co-founder, spurned engineer put on leave

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

GitHub is investigating allegations of sexism and inappropriate behaviour towards its female employees after one code jockey quit and went public on Twitter.

Software engineer Julie Horvath left the VC-funded site last week, telling world+dog of an unpleasant culture at work.

Horvath used her Twitter profile to allege she had been “harassed by the leadership" of GitHub for two years.”

The programmer spoke to TechCrunch about, among other things, a strange series of run-ins with an unnamed co-founder of GitHub and his wife.

She also claimed to have experienced harassment from a male colleague whom she alleges ripped her code from projects after she turned down his romantic advances.

But, says Horvath, the act that made her leave was her female colleagues hula-hooping in the office to music while the men of GitHub reportedly ogled them “like something out of a strip club”.

GitHub chief executive and co-founder Chris Wanstrath said a “full investigation” had been launched.

Also, the “relevant founder” and the GitHub engineer whom Horvath accuses of harassing her have been put on leave.

GitHub is a six-year-old, venture-funded startup with 10 million code repositories. The company landed $100m in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz.

Horvath signed out after two years with GitHub. After resigning, she told an audience on Twitter that her only regret was not leaving or being fired sooner.

“What I endured as an employee of GitHub was unacceptable and went unnoticed by most,” she said.

“Don’t stand for aggressive behavior that’s disguised as ‘professional feedback’ and demand that harassment isn’t tolerated,” she told others on Twitter.

Horvath told TechCrunch that a person who she described as a "founder" of GitHub, but did not name, had invited her to drinks with his wife and that the wife subsequently made a range of claims: that she informed her husband’s decisions, was responsible for GitHub hires, and operated a network of spies through the company. Horvath claimed the woman warned her against leaving the company and writing anything negative about the startup.

The programmer took the matter to HR, with the result the co-founder accused Horvath of threatening his wife, and, according to Hogarth, "chastised" her and "called her liar".

Horvath claimed the wife then began showing up at the workplace and shadowing her around the company.

In yesterday's response, Wanstrath denied the unnamed founder’s wife had ever had hiring or firing power at the company and said she will no longer be permitted in the office.

Horvath also claimed to TechCrunch that a spurned colleague – another software engineer – had begun ripping her code contributions from projects after she turned down his advances.

The engineer claimed the "final straw" was when a pair of female fellow workers were hula hooping to music at the office and their male colleagues lined up "on one bench facing the hoopers and gawk[ed] at them". ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.